Sunday, March 9, 2014

Q-tips are for knees

I was sitting on the floor against our couch one evening this week when Madeleine came over to me with a Q-tip.  She started gently rubbing my knee with it.  I thought it was odd, but didn't think too much about it.   Later, when I saw her rubbing Mom's knee, I thought, "Why is she rubbing our knees with Q-t....."

Oh yeah.  A few weeks ago when she first found them, Christy astutely said, "I don't want her to know what you really do with Q-tips."  I agreed, imagining her shoving them in her ears and nose (or worse: my ears and nose while I was sleeping).  So we quickly showed her that Q-tips are for rubbing our knees.

We are great parents.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


At the store this week, I checked off carrots as I dumped a bag in my cart then read the next line:


Christy wanted to make beef stew from scratch, which meant no canned cream of mushroom soup.  I meandered through Harmon's produce area wondering where they kept their mushrooms and realized, just as I found them, that I have never in my life bought mushrooms.  I stood in front of the mushroom wall suddenly ignorant and a little amazed.

I don't particularly like mushrooms.  As a kid they grossed me out.  Post mission I've learned to enjoy the flavor they contribute, though I only allow about half of them to make it down my gullet.  In this sense, it's not surprising that I've neglected their purchase.  On the other hand, I'm older than over 95% of 25-year-olds -- you'd think I'd have bought them by now.

So there I stood, looking at "button" mushrooms and portobello mushrooms, white ones and flimsy, hair-like ones.  All kinds of mushrooms.  Many of them live in cardboard boxes that remind me of the containers you get tulip and daffodil bulbs from, as if to emphasize: "These, O man, are Of the Earth."  Looking over their variety, and knowing that I didn't know the difference between any of them, I felt lost and little excited.  I thought, "There are people that like these things.  And they know what to do with them.  I wonder if I could be one of those people.  I wonder if I could make delicious things from this mostly mysterious fungus.  Yuck... these are fungus.  But they look kind of good."

It was kind of fun to discover something so new; doubly so because I've walked past them many, many times.

But practically, I had yet to choose some.  I waffled among1 the familiar looking, plastic wrapped container of pre-cut, "normal-looking" ones, the relatively gigantic portobellos and the quaint button-shaped ones.  Then I noticed a lady politely waiting for me to make my choice.  Instead of rushing, I backed away and asked, "Are you getting mushrooms?"


"I've never bought mushrooms in my whole life.  Which ones should I get?"

Her eyes lit up (I'm not exaggerating -- she was visibly excited).

Can you imagine my luck?  I had just presented my question to one of the aforementioned people-that-like-mushrooms-and-know-what-to-do-with-them.  She was a real fan!  After also waffling among a few, she recommended quartering the button guys -- they would hold up okay in a stew and taste good.

I let her finish, thanked her and got some of my own.

The stew was terrific, and I consciously enjoyed the few mushrooms that ended up on my spoon.

[1] I know that between is used only with pairs of things and among is used when speaking of three or more things.  I think waffling probably should only be used in between situations.  But "waffling among" is too funny a phrase to pass up.  It brings to my mind a lumbering, finned creature wallumphing through a flower-filled spring meadow.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Three things


Me: Utah.
M: Hatah!
Me: You.
M: You.
Me: Tah.
M: Tah.
Me: Utah.
M: Hatah!

Every time, without fail.

Picking out our (suprisingly still-fragrant) Christmas tree.  She thinks, for some reason I don't quite understand, that you can get drinks from trees.

Mandarin consolation

After I parked outside the building where I work on one of the snowy/icy days this last week, I gathered up my water bottle and two mandarin oranges and got out of the car.  As I navigated the icy parking lot trying not to slip, I suddenly thought, "Well, at least if I fall over, these two oranges will go flying and make anyone who sees it laugh."

That made me smile.  I didn't end up slipping.  How sad.

Nursery KO

Today was little M's second time going to nursery (she's been sick ever since the first time).  When we got home, she refused to nap, so we decided not to fight it and ate dinner.  By the end of dinner, she was struggling to stay awake so we put her to bed.  At 5:30!  Out like a light.

Here's hoping that it lasts through the night.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

humidi fire!


During the summer, we saw the hot air balloon launch for Independence Day.  We got right up close to the balloons -- enough that we could feel the heat every time they turned on the fire.  Ever since, Madeleine always makes the sound of fire whenever we talk about fire.  I don't know how to spell the sound... something like: "fffffhhhhhuhhuhhhh"


A few months ago, we had a fire in our fire place.  Kimmy was over and taught Madeleine that the fire was dangerous by saying, "Danger!" and moving her hands back and forth as if to say stay away.  So Madeleine often says "danger!" when she's near the fire place.


We've all been sick lately (colds, coughs and congestion) and so we've had the humidifier running in Madeleine's room at night to alleviate that a bit.  Since we narrate everything we do when Madeleine's around (We're not the only parents that do this, are we?  We're not crazy, right?) she knows that it's called a humidifier.

One morning, we went to turn off the humidifier and she said, "Fire!  ffffhhhhhhhhhh!  Danger!"  Because a humidifier is just a humid kind of fire to her :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013


All three of us are sick with colds.  Madeleine has it the worst, but is improving.  Christy seems to be on the downhill.  Mine ebbs and flows.

But despite our noses and throats, we decided to fly a kite today in the great wind.  After not finding any kites in the stores we decided to try making our own.  We used some small wooden dowels, butcher paper, Scotch tape, some string and a leftover birthday streamer for the tail.  I was confident it wouldn't fly, but also sure it would still be a fun activity.  I was wrong about the former and right about the latter.

Our cheap little kite flew high!
It was fun flying a kite, and doubly fun that we made it with stuff around the house.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Today was Madeleine's first week going to Nursery for the last two hours of church.  We walked to the door, and, interested, she went inside and paused.  After looking at all the activity and toys and kids she turned around briefly, but then got swept up in the flow of another mom bringing her daughter in.  She loved it!

Christy cheated and checked on her in the middle of Sunday School.  I stole a peek in between the two hours.  I saw my cute little girl seated at the table with all the other kids just finishing snack time.  I wonder if a lot of her life changes (school, high school, work, college, marriage and all the little ones in between) will happen the same way: she enters into a new adventure entirely unaware of her parents standing at the window, watching her with a lot of excitement and a little nervousness.

At the end, she didn't want to leave nursery -- the slide was too fun :)

She was Tiger Lily for Halloween


Unrelated: I just noticed that one of our buckets of white flour is helpfully labeled "W Flour" on the side.  I'm trying to remember if that was from intentional silliness or not...

Thursday, October 24, 2013


This evening, Madeleine saw the Bananagrams bag perched on our corner shelf and insisted that I get it down.  I distractedly supervised her playing (just to make sure she didn't eat them) but was mostly talking with Christy about the day.  Madeleine happily picked them up and climbed on the couch and walked around the room jabbering.

Then dinner was ready.  I didn't want her to confuse the tiles with food, so I asked for them so I could put them away while we ate.  She gave me the six or so tiles in her hand, and I was astonished: all of them were the letter O!  She had sifted through the pile for all the Os she could find.  How did she learn that?

My other thought was: "She already likes to organize things.  Just like her mom.  And dad.  This could be bad for all sides."  :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Goodbye Readers

Goodbye readers!  It's been fun blogging all these years.  I'm glad you've been reading along.

But on July 1, Google Reader is going away.  Too bad.  Alternatives can be found by searching for RSS reader, but I haven't found a more simple version than Google Reader.  Every other reader adds too many frills.

I'm not going anywhere, and neither is this blog (until Google retires Blogger).  But I might start publishing to Google+.  If you want to find me this might be a link to the right place.


A while ago, I was day-dreaming about the ideal house.  My ideal house would make use of geothermal energy, solar energy and probably wind.  As I was dreaming, I tried to work through the best way to shade the house in the summer, and expose the house to sunlight in the winter.  You could build a structure around the house that would be just the right shape, full of celestially-based angles to offer shade in the sun and sun in the winter.  As I was wondering, I found myself saying: "What would be perfect is something that was opaque during the summer and transparent during the winter.  I wonder if they make something like that.  I wonder how expensive it is."

And then I thought:

"Leaves."  Oh yeah.  What a great solution!

Best Birthday Present Ever

For my birthday my brother, Dan, got me the best present I've ever received.  At Sunday dinner, he disappeared for a bit then came back with a little puppy:

That's a real puppy.

Thankfully, it was just a joke.  Though it was a nice puppy.  Madeleine liked him. (her?)


This lady loves her KitchenAid:

I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine how I came across this video.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I have a very cute daughter.  Here's proof:

I can't believe she's already a year old!  At this rate, she's gonna be two soon.  And then three, and then she's off to college.

Speaking of college.  I ran into this video while I was looking for the other one.  It's my former roommate playing a nice polka.  He's a talented guy.  Enjoy:

Saturday, March 23, 2013


...priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; (2 Nephi 26:29 in the Book of Mormon)
At work, I spend time reading about new developments in technology (especially in security and web-related things).  As with anything, people have differing opinions.  And there are several people with a lot of clout, whose opinions are widely accepted and defended by others just because of who they are.  Those with clout also tend to receive more coverage (their stuff is shared more).  As a result, they have the ability to shape public opinion to some degree.

This week, after reading an article written by one of these influentials about the novel idea of taking a break from work (I think it is referred to as vacation in some circles), and after reading the comments in support of this breakthrough, I realized something:

Priestcraft doesn't usually start because someone promotes themselves as a light.  Priestcraft grows from others promoting someone as a light.

Its beginnings are benign: a sincere compliment; a "you should see the great thing they did" to a friend; sharing and praise.  And it is then that the person being lifted up makes the choice to remain humble or become self-serving.

From this, I learn two things:

1. As an other I need to be careful how, who and what I praise.

2. As the lifted I need to choose to be humble despite praise.